Moneris Solutions

Moneris Solutions

September 23, 2009 12:41 ET

TIFF Gives Toronto Retailers a Lift

Credit card transactions up from last year's Festival, despite this year's slower economy

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2009) - Toronto retailers got a small lift in sales last week thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but shoppers were not only watching the stars, they were also watching their wallets, according to Moneris Solutions. Canada's largest payment processor found that while credit card transactions were up 3.9 per cent compared to last year's TIFF, consumers are spending less overall, with credit card dollar volumes down 0.4 per cent compared to the 2008 TIFF. Moneris analyzed Visa and MasterCard data from Sept. 10th to 19th, 2009 and compared it to last year's TIFF held from Sept. 4th to 13th, 2008.

There were some exceptions to the overall lower credit card dollar volumes. TIFF party goers drove a remarkable seven per cent increase in credit card dollar volumes at drinking establishments. Similarly, restaurants throughout Toronto experienced a lift, with Visa dollar volumes up two per cent.

"These numbers are consistent with what our merchants have told us all year," said David Ades, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Moneris Solutions. "There's still traffic flowing into retail outlets and consumers are indeed spending money, albeit through smaller transaction sizes compared to last year. We consider this data positive in light of the serious economic challenges Canadian retailers faced in the past year."

Virtually all Toronto neighbourhoods experienced increases in the number of credit card transactions throughout TIFF. Celebrity central Yorkville saw a 5.4 per cent rise in credit card transactions, although merchants in the Union Station/Harbourfront/Toronto Island area emerged as the winner, with credit card transactions up 21.5 per cent. Cabbagetown followed at 18.6 per cent, and Toronto's financial district was the only other area that experienced a double digit increase in credit card transactions at 11 per cent.

Details about the data cited in this release: The data cited above covers all merchant categories and tallies the dollar value as well as the number of transactions made on Moneris debit and credit card terminals at retailers with postal codes starting with "M," to analyze the impact of the TIFF. The company's infrastructure helps merchants process high volumes of transactions and payments quickly and securely.

About Moneris Solutions

As one of North America's largest providers of payment processing solutions, Moneris offers credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants in virtually every industry segment and processes more than three billion transactions annually. Through its Ernex division, Moneris offers electronic loyalty and stored-value gift card programs. With more than 350,000 merchant locations, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed to improve business efficiency and manage payments. For more information please visit www.moneris.com.

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